This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

How VLA can help with family violence intervention orders

How Victoria Legal Aid can help clients with family violence intervention orders.

Family violence priority line

On 25 May 2020, Legal Help launched a new family violence priority line to improve the safety of callers and manage the recent increase in family violence related queries at Legal Help.

Callers in the Legal Help queue are prompted to select the family violence priority queue if they have a family violence related question and are worried about their safety.

Family Advocacy and Support Service (FAAS)

This service is available to help clients who have experienced family violence or who are alleged to have used family violence by providing duty lawyers and social support workers at court. The FAAS service is available t the Melbourne and Dandenong Registries of the Family Law Courts.

It is designed for families who are involved in family law proceedings.

See Family Advocacy and Support Service(opens in a new window).

Talking to a caller at risk of family violence

Legal Help staff should explore whether a caller is at risk of family violence by the process of taking instructions and open questions. If direct questions are necessary to find out more the officer should ask:

  • 'Are you worried about your safety or a family member's safety?'
  • If the answer is 'yes' probe more to find out whether the person posing a risk is a family member.
  • Continue to ask open questions about family violence, particularly in family law matters.

Useful questions to assess risk:

  • Is the person you are seeking an order against a family member?
  • What was the most recent incident of family violence by the respondent?
  • Have there been other incidents of family violence by the respondent in the past?
  • Do you think these incidents are likely to happen again?
  • Did the police attend or has the matter been reported to police?
  • Is the respondent still living in your home or in the same area or do they know where you live?
  • Do you have any children living in the house with you?
  • Have any threats of violence or abuse been made towards the children?
  • Are there currently family court orders in place?
  • Does the respondent have a gun or access to a firearm?
  • Does the respondent have any diagnosed mental health issues?

VLA’s Legal Help gives free information by phone about the law and how VLA can help. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8 am–6 pm. Call Legal Help on 1300 792 387.

The level of help depends on the kind of matter and on whether the caller is a priority client.

Legal Help services include:

  • a triage service—clients are referred to the most appropriate service
  • general legal information—unless the matter is out of scope
  • targeted referrals both within and outside VLA
  • advice about legal procedure—priority clients in some areas of law
  • legal advice by phone—priority clients in some areas of law.

For more information about the kinds of matters where priority clients can get phone advice see Legal Help phone advice(opens in a new window).

Out of scope matters

For information about matters that are not covered by the Legal Help service see VLA Legal Help(opens in a new window).

Language line

This service is provided in different languages.

See Get help in your own language(opens in a new window).

VLA produces a range of legal information for the public. For information see 'VLA resources for clients' under this topic.

Legal Help Online provides online information, referral and booking tool used by staff at Victoria Legal Aid and community legal centres to find legal services in Victoria. The site:

  • helps lawyers to send out emails to clients with targeted information to help with their legal matter
  • matches clients with services based on their legal need, location and eligibility for services, and
  • is an appointment management system, that enables direct bookings to be made and SMS reminders to be sent.

See Legal Help Online (formerly Orbit)(opens in a new window).

To locate VLA services see Legal Help Online—Services

To access the email templates, see Legal Help Online—Info email templates (no replies)(opens in a new window).

Public law library

Our law library is the only specialist law library in Victoria open to the public. It has a wide range of resources in print and electronic forms, covering a variety of legal topics. The library is open Monday to Friday, 9.00 am–5.00 pm.

Staff can also search the library catalogue to access all books, journals, videos, reports and reference material held by the library, and networked CD-ROM services.

See VLA library catalogue(opens in a new window).

See also Library and research(opens in a new window).

The VLA Handbook for lawyers sets out how to apply for a grant of legal assistance and the guidelines and conditions of receiving a grant.

See:

For a collection of grants resources and training materials see LawHub topic Grants of legal assistance.

See State civil law guidelines—Guideline 6 – family violence protection order cases(opens in a new window).

Updated